There were 117,259 properties nationwide that entered some stage of foreclosure in February, a 13 percent increase from the previous month and a 68 percent increase from February 2005, according to RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties.

RealtyTrac’s Monthly U.S. Foreclosure Market Report shows a February national foreclosure rate of one new foreclosure for every 986 U.S. households, continuing an upward trend in which the national foreclosure rate rose in every quarter of 2005.

“This is the third straight month the U.S. foreclosure rate has moved higher, and it’s the second straight month new foreclosures have topped 100,000,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “However, several states, including California, Florida, Texas and New York, reported a dip in foreclosures in February. We’ll see if the rest of the country follows that trend in March.”

Georgia reported 9,421 properties entering some stage of foreclosure in February, a 28 percent increase from the previous month and more than twice the number of new foreclosures reported in February 2005. With one foreclosure for every 329 households, the state documented the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the second month in a row.

Foreclosure rates in Indiana and Colorado were among the nation’s five highest for the second month in a row. Indiana reported 5,909 properties entering some stage of foreclosure in February, a 34 percent increase from the previous month and nearly three times the number of new foreclosures reported in February 2005. Colorado reported 4,128 properties entering some stage of foreclosure, a 10 percent increase from the previous month and a 34 percent increase from February 2005. Both Indiana and Colorado documented foreclosure rates that were more than two times the national average.

Michigan and Ohio also documented foreclosure rates among the nation’s five highest thanks to increasing foreclosures in February. Michigan reported 10,343 properties entering some stage of foreclosure, more than twice as many as were reported the previous month and one new foreclosure for every 408 households. Ohio reported 9,873 properties entering some stage of foreclosure, a 19 percent increase from the previous month and one new foreclosure for every 484 households.

Texas recorded the most new foreclosures of any state for the third month in a row despite a month-to-month decrease of 7 percent. The state reported 13,616 properties entering some stage of foreclosure in February, a foreclosure rate of one new foreclosure for every 591 households. Although the state’s foreclosure rate dropped out of the nation’s five highest, it was still 1.7 times the national average.

Florida reported 10,019 properties entering some stage of foreclosure in February, a 3 percent decrease from the previous month and a 20 percent decrease from February 2005. The state’s foreclosure rate of one new foreclosure for every 729 households was 1.4 times the national average.

RealtyTrac’s report tracks properties in all three phases of foreclosure: pre-foreclosures, including notice of default and lis pendens; foreclosures, including notice of trustee sale and notice of foreclosure sale; and real estate-owned properties that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank.

***

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